The 2016 college football regular season is heading into its final week and the playoff picture is beginning to become more transparent after an action-packed week 14.
Anyone who watched the second half/overtimes of Ohio State vs. Michigan. Not all big games live up to the hype, but this one certainly did that and then some. After a rather tedious first half in Columbus, viewers were treated to a frantic finish that saw the Buckeyes prevail in controversial fashion in 2 overtimes. Does this win ensure Ohio State of a playoff spot despite Penn State leapfrogging them into the Big 10 Championship game?
Colorado. The Buffaloes had not been bowl eligible since 2005 prior to this season and now coach Mike MacIntyre has the team ranked in the top 10 and playing for a Pac-12 Championship this Friday. It’s been a long time since Colorado has been on the radar whatsoever in the college football universe, but it appears they may now be a player in the Pac-12 South.
Missouri. Sure, one upset victory does not erase an otherwise disastrous season, but the Tigers sent their frustrated fans home with a smile after knocking off Arkansas 28-24 on Friday. After winning two of its final three games, head coach Barry Odom has some to sell as he tries to move the program forward following two disappointing seasons.
Indiana. The Hoosiers became bowl eligible for consecutive seasons since 1990-91 after edging Purdue this weekend. It hasn’t been an easy road for head coach Kevin Wilson, but Indiana is now respectable and looking to continue the positive momentum as they look for their first bowl victory since the 1991 Copper Bowl.
Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder. The legendary coach of the Wildcats won his 200th game Saturday after beating rival Kansas 34-19. One could make the argument that Snyder is one of the greatest college football coaches of all time considering all the success that he has brought to a once horrendous program.
Tennessee. Folks, this was supposed to be the year that it all came together for the Volunteers, and it simply did not. Following an inexplicable loss to Vanderbilt and finishing with a .500 conference record, it’s certainly fair to ask if Butch Jones is the right guy to bring Tennessee back to glory although don’t expect him to be fired at this point.
Ole Miss. Another SEC team that was supposed to be a legit contender for a conference title, The Rebels could never really get things going this season. They will now likely miss a bowl game after being blown out at home by rival Mississippi State, although Hugh Freeze may get a bit of a pass considering star quarterback Chad Kelly’s injury several weeks back.
Louisville. At one time, the Cardinals were a playoff contender with a sure-fire Heisman quarterback in Lamar Jackson. My how the tides have turned after losses to Houston and now Kentucky, who beat Louisville with a last-second field goal Saturday afternoon. There’s still chance that Jackson will win the Heisman by default but it seems like many moons ago that they were knocking on the doorstep of a playoff spot.
Texas A&M. Aggies gonna Aggie. After starting 6-0, Texas A&M have lost their final 4 conference games and obtained victories over New Mexico State and Texas-San Antonio during the second half of the season. These type of collapses are becoming commonplace in College Station and you have to wonder if a school that just pumped $1 billion dollars into its football stadium is going to be ok with winning 8 games every year, which has been somewhat the norm under coach Kevin Sumlin.
Nebraska. After surging to a 7-0 start, many thought that, perhaps, the order had been restored in Lincoln under second year head coach Mike Riley. Since then, the Huskers have dropped 3 out of their final four games including an inexcusable 40-10 beat down at the hand of the Iowa Hawkeyes. In the end, Nebraska did not beat a ranked team all season and you have to wonder if this year’s “turn around” was done with smoke and mirrors.